I suppose I can take a break from my new full-time job of shitting all over the Susan G. Komen Foundation on Twitter and Facebook to make some dinner. A short break.
If you don’t know why Komen deserves to be shat upon, then Google them. I’m not your mother doing your math homework for you here; I don’t care if you flunk the second grade.* I will just say this: you should never have been wasting your cash on stupid pink crap to begin with. You can lick yogurt tops clean until the end of days, but it’s not helping anyone pay for chemotherapy. Also, you should eat better yogurt anyway.
As though the Komen bullshit isn’t making me cranky enough, I’ve thrown my back out. Apparently, when I turned 34 in December I was actually turning 80. I walked from the couch to the bathroom earlier, and it was so awful that my life flashed before my eyes. In my panic, I told the dogs they could have all my stuff when I die. I think they took me at my word and are now plotting against me, because I really needed something else to worry about.
To cope, I’ve got the heating pad, the Icy Hot patch and a great big bottle of Advil. Every three hours, I throw a big handful of Advil in the air, and whatever lands in my mouth is what I take.
I picked this recipe – seared scallops with endive marmalade and caramelized meyer lemon vinaigrette, from Fresh from the Market by Laurent Tourondel – before I got my AARP card. When I re-read the recipe today and realized how quick and easy the dish would be, I did a happy dance in my mind.* A ten-minute marmalade, quick seared scallops and a pan sauce! I could probably stand for that long, or at least have Brian prop me up against a board Hannibal Lecter-style and position me near the stove.
I tossed some thinly-sliced endive into a pot with a pat of butter; after wilting it down, I added sugar, lemon juice and red pepper flakes and let it cook until brown and jammy.
*And even THAT hurt my back.
While the endive cooked, I got the ingredients together for the pan sauce so everything would be ready to go when the scallops were done.
Somehow, I read “two meyer lemons, peeled and segmented” as “1/3 cup meyer lemon juice.” Cutting supremes of citrus fruits may be my most hated food prep task. I will pass over or adapt recipes so I don’t have to supreme fruit. Cutting supremes is the lone reason I can never go to culinary schools. There’s no way I’d be able to pass that section of knife skills and I’d end up at the top of the clock tower throwing grapefruits at passersby. Also, a supremed tangelo killed my grandfather.
But I did it, fighting with the tiny, slippery fruits until I had a small bowl of passable segments, and then I had to lie down on my fainting couch for a few minutes to recover my composure.
I patted some improbably large scallops dry, seasoned them and plopped them into a hot saute pan with some butter. Three minutes on one side, one on the other, and they were perfectly done.
The supremes went into the pan to caramelize for a few minutes, followed by fresh tangerine juice and then some muscat (which was supposed to be Sauternes, if you’re interested in recreating this, but I was having a cheap week). The liquid reduced into a dark syrup, got smoothed out with a little cold butter, and it was dinnertime.
More accurately, then it was time for the dogs to get into a snit – they sound nasty, but they fight like 12-year-old girls – which was ostensibly over food, but which I suspect was over which one of them gets ownership of my iPhone when they finally off me.
This dinner is very brown-on-brown; the fridge was sadly devoid of chives, so I tried adding some lemon segments for a soupçon of color but it didn’t really work. And it was cold, thanks to the dogs’ greed. Also, it was supposed to have big globs of caviar on top (well, optionally), but I can’t bring myself to shell out the big bucks for something I don’t even like.
Aside from all that it was a delight, if not a tad sweet. The scallops brought their natural sweetness; it was complemented but not overwhelmed by the citrus and stone fruit notes* of the “vinaigrette”**, while subtle bitter notes from the endive lurked at the back of my tongue.
Now, it’s back to the sofa and heating pad, and it’s about time for another fistful of ibuprofen. If anyone wants to send a care package, I would gladly accept a bottle of percoset, a snuggie and some Milk Duds.
*From the muscat, a French dessert wine.
**Because: where’s the vinegar at, yo?